This Thanksgiving Feast Calculator Can Help You Plan On How Much Food You Need...Or Not

November 19, 2018

The website Skillet has come up with this helpful Thanksgiving Calculator that will make it easier to gauge how much food you need for your holiday fest.  Check it out here.

The author of the article, Claire Lower claims it will tell you "exactly" how much food you need.  I decided to give it a realistic American evaluation for my Thanksgiving needs.  This year I am going to the in-laws house for a small gathering of maybe six people.  Five adults and one very picky 11 year old girl who has an obsession with mashed potatoes.  Let's find out what the calculator suggests after entering my info.(which is just the number of mouths)

Here are the results:

Turkey: 9 pounds
Wine: 5 bottles
Soup: 6 cups
Gravy: 3 cups
Cranberry sauce: 2 cups
Stuffing: 6 cups
Mashed potatoes: 6 cups
Rolls, popovers, or pieces of bread: 15
Salad: 8 ounces
Other sides: 2 pounds
Pies: 2 pies

Turkey: Nine pounds of turkey sounds about right.  Although I could polish off about three pounds of that myself.  I zero in on the dark meat because it contains more fat, which makes it and everything else in the world taste better.  Do they even sell a nine pound turkey?  My in-laws usually go for something in the 12-16 pound range.  You have to plan for sandwiches!  

Wine: Five bottles of wine will be consumed before we sit at the table!  There will also be Manhattans, beers, and martinis.  My in-laws have the "drinking gene".  It will add fuel to the misunderstandings that will inevitably happen later on.

Soup: Never in my life have I ever had soup for Thanksgiving.

Gravy: This is the most important ingredient to a successful Thanksgiving meal.  It can be used to help dried out turkey, chewy stuffing, or cranberry sauce that has orange rind in it.(Blecchh!) Also, "three cups" of gravy?! Between 6 people? Six American people? Really?!  This is The United States Of Obesity!  There should be enough to do shots in between helpings.

Cranberry Sauce: Two cups seems about right.  That's two cups of canned cranberry sauce that still has the ridges on the side molded from the can.  

Stuffing: Some consider the stuffing to be the real star of the meal and everybody's family has there own way of doing it.  Some prefer it separate from the bird, some like it to be clumpy.  My in-laws are French-Canadian and make a ground pork stuffing.  It's mixed with onion and mashed potatoes. It's also very greasy.  I LOVE it!  Try plopping a scoop on a grilled cheese sandwich sometime.  It makes me very sleepy.

Mashed Potatoes: Six cups for six people won't cut it.  I'd double this.  Unless you want to make a Richard Dreyfuss/Close Encounters style Devils Tower, then quadruple it.

Rolls:  We usually have a couple dozen crescent rolls and a loaf of something.  You know, for all the gravy...and sandwiches...and open face turkey sandwiches...later that night.

Salad: ?

Other Sides: Two pounds?  Again, this is a serious miscalculation. The In-Laws like a good green bean casserole and who the hell doesn't?  They also like pearl onions, which taste like scotch tape when they get cold.  There's also butternut squash with a few sticks of butter.  All totaling about 8 pounds.

Pies:  When the In-Laws had more people at their feast they would have six sometimes eight pies.  Pumpkin, Butterscotch, Strawberry-Rhubarb, Pecan, Apple.  Even though there are less people now the amount has thankfully stayed the same.  Plus the ice cream and whipped cream!  

Now if this were my family in Pennsylvania you would add a ham, lasagna, pierogi, stuffed cabbage, three different kind of yams, creamed peas, and a vast amount of cookies, nut rolls, and cakes.  My family takes their food very almost as seriously as they take The Pittsburgh Steelers.(Yes, I take a ton of crap every time I visit.  Whatever, at least Tom Brady never raped anyone or killed a bunch of dogs.)

To sum up, use the Skillet Calculator and then multiply it all by three.  That's the true American Thanksgiving.  Then unbutton and pass out.

Here's a bonus Thanksgiving Etiquette Guide so you can judge the other guests: 


Thumbnail photo by Tim Pierce

Photo by Josh Wedin

Photo by JeffryW

Pie photo by Rebecca VC1